Owner of Three Local AlphaGraphics Franchises
Ed Rothschild knows Colorado’s complicated sales tax system is not good for businesses. And as he sees it, if the system isn’t good for businesses, it’s not good for local cities either.
Rothschild owns a small business with locations in three home-rule cities. He has to maintain seven different sales tax licenses. Each month, his employees have to calculate and file multiple sales tax forms to multiple entities.
But the major headache for Rothschild comes from the frequent audits to which he is vulnerable. Two cities audited his business last year. Each time, Rothschild had to hire his external accountant to come in for days on end to oversee the audit and provide everything the auditors requested. As has happened with every audit he’s faced, Rothschild and his accountant learned of new rules that they had little way of knowing beforehand. In other words, even though he works diligently to comply and hires outside professional help, Rothschild had failed to pay certain taxes simply because he didn’t know he was supposed to.
Since each home-rule city employs a different sales tax code, it can be nearly impossible for small businesses to keep up. Some large businesses in Colorado employ full-time people whose only task is to ensure sales tax compliance, but small businesses like Rothschild’s can’t afford to do this. There is no easy way to access the information they need.
Though his business is successful, Rothschild continues to see his business’ time and resources sucked away by the work it takes to stay in compliance with Colorado’s sales tax system. And at the end of the day, all he wants to do is pay the tax he owes and then get back to business.
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